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Looking For AMP and DAC Recommendations + User Help! - Page 2

post #16 of 43

Yeah, that could work too. You should definitely have the digital volume for the Asgard set to 100%, and control volume using the knob. Digital volume will (theoretically at least) reduce sound quality by lowering the bit-depth of the signal.

For burn-in, I just set my music library to random, turn the volume up a little more than normal, and let everything play constantly for a few days. But don't get too hung up on burn-in -- you can listen to the equipment, and enjoy it, during the process. I've seen some people who don't even want to listen until everything is "done" burning in, which is ridiculous IMO. There is some debate about how much burn-in matters, if at all. Headphone and DAC burn-in is a bit contentious, but tubes definitely need to burn in -- there is a substance inside the glass that helps to create the vacuum, and it needs to be heated up to start working and create a full vacuum. As for headphones and DACs, maybe burn-in makes a difference, maybe not, but the only harm that can be done is to deprive yourself of listening to your gear while you wait for the process to finish.

EDIT -- Oops, I was thinking of Valhalla. Asgard doesn't have tubes.  


Edited by manbear - 1/13/14 at 8:39pm
post #17 of 43
If the speakers aren't connected to the DAC or amp, they won't play when the headphones are playing.

I *think* that under Windows 7+ you are not penalized by turning down your windows volume. That wasn't the case with XP, with that you actually lost some dynamic range when you turned down the volume in Windows. I'm not positive, but I think that's been fixed.

If the amp is on, it's going to get warm. I would turn it off if you aren't using it - but just like a PC, you don't need to be OCD about it - there's no need to turn it on and off 17 times a day.
post #18 of 43
I'm with manbear on burn-in - I suspect it's mostly your *brain* rather than the headphones that experience burn-in, but hey, do whatever makes you happy.
post #19 of 43
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by billybob_jcv View Post

If the speakers aren't connected to the DAC or amp, they won't play when the headphones are playing.

I *think* that under Windows 7+ you are not penalized by turning down your windows volume. That wasn't the case with XP, with that you actually lost some dynamic range when you turned down the volume in Windows. I'm not positive, but I think that's been fixed.

If the amp is on, it's going to get warm. I would turn it off if you aren't using it - but just like a PC, you don't need to be OCD about it - there's no need to turn it on and off 17 times a day.

 

I'm a little confused about what you said.  I'm curious how that would work.  I'm probably going to have to see.

 

As far as turning the computer off along with the AMP; I'm totally for that.  For example, tonight when I go to sleep; the computer goes off.  I wont be using it in the morning as I head to work, and it wont be used until several hours after.

 

I'm assuming when I'm done using the headphones, to simply turn off the AMP.  Then by default my speakers should go on which are connected directly into the motherboard for example.  Either way, it's a matter of time before I find out.

 

As for the windows volume thing, what I normally do actually is keep the volume on windows full blast, but then turn things down as I see fit.  For example my game sounds are at about 30%, my music goes as low as 10% sometimes, and my broadcast is usually kept at 100% so people can turn up and down the volume on my live broadcast as they see fit (rather than it being super quiet for them constantly).

 

I'm assuming it wouldn't be ideal for me to turn windows AND the AMP to full blast, correct?  If not, what would be the best, or is the system indifferent?

post #20 of 43
What I'm saying is that Windows sees ONLY the DAC and your internal soundcard. Your PC has no idea your amp or your headphones even exist. Turning the amp on/off has no effect on the DAC and therefore no effect on Windows. Unplugging your headphones from the amp also has no effect on the DAc and therefore no effect on Windows. The only way your PC will switch back to your internal soundcard is if: 1) You (or a program you have configured) tell Windows to use the internal soundcard; or 2) You unplug or turn off the DAC.
post #21 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yujiza View Post
 

I'm assuming it wouldn't be ideal for me to turn windows AND the AMP to full blast, correct?  If not, what would be the best, or is the system indifferent?


Yes, it would be extremely loud and could potentially damage your headphones. It is best to turn up windows volume all the way, and only use the amp's volume knob. This is because windows volume (and all digital volume controls) discards information from the signal in order to lower the volume. 

post #22 of 43
This is what I remember reading about the changes in the way Win 7 handles the volume control:
http://blog.szynalski.com/2009/11/17/an-audiophiles-look-at-the-audio-stack-in-windows-vista-and-7/

And for god's sake don't turn your amp volume knob to max.
Edited by billybob_jcv - 1/13/14 at 11:29pm
post #23 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by billybob_jcv View Post

This is what I remember reading about the changes in the way Win 7 handles the volume control:
http://blog.szynalski.com/2009/11/17/an-audiophiles-look-at-the-audio-stack-in-windows-vista-and-7/

And for god's sake don't turn your amp volume knob to max.

 

Good find. If your DAC is playing 16 bit material with 24 bits of headroom, you can attenuate by -48 dB digitally before any of the original 16 bit information is lost. The rule is every -6 dB chops off 1 bit, and you have 8 extra bits playing 16 bit material with a 24 bit DAC.  

http://www.psaudio.com/vanilla/discussion/comment/49808


A few people here are also saying that lowering the digital volume will decrease the distance between the output signal and the noise floor, but that could easily be something you'd never notice. 

I prefer to avoid digital volume as much as possible, even though that may just be superstition on my part :tongue_smile: 

post #24 of 43
Thread Starter 

Hey I'm back, and all the equipment is setup.

 

Huge concerns and questions.  Perhaps I overlooked a few things here and there.

 

Unless I have to break the headphones in; the Beyer's 880 (600 ohms) version how TONS of treble and hardly any bass.  I thought (and as I read all over the place) that the 880's had more bass than the Sennheiser HD 598's.  However, I can't tell and extremely curious if somehow using my headphone jack on my computer added more bass than I thought.

 

I then head straight into the devices in my control panel get to work.  I put the bass boost to -6dB, at 80 Hz.  I'm not sure if I should put them higher or lower with the 600 ohm headphones.  Anyway, then the bass is more powerful, and the treble isn't through the roof anymore.

 

/confused.

 

The headphones are also set to 24 bit, 96000 Hz.  When I add the bass boost, the sound is a little quieter (I can just turn it up), however the bass is now extremely healthy with no loss.  I can't tell.  *ruffles hair*

 

New challenges arise, and confused what to do.  Any help?

 

Thanks guys

 

Edit; back with more testing.  I now decided to use my 598's headphones jack through the computer rather than through the Asgard, and instantly the bass returned, and the treble wasn't so high.  It seems my on board card is amping the bass into the headphones without me really "seeing" it.

 

When I switch back to the Beyer's in the Asgard and put the -6dB for bass, it sounds the same.  However, with the range on the Beyer's seem wider.  Hmm..


Edited by Yujiza - 1/17/14 at 10:01pm
post #25 of 43
You have me really confused. I think you need to start at the beginning and tell us what you have hooked to what, and be specific on what connections on each device you are using.
post #26 of 43
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by billybob_jcv View Post

You have me really confused. I think you need to start at the beginning and tell us what you have hooked to what, and be specific on what connections on each device you are using.

 

Sorry for that.

 

Right now I have from my computer via USB (peripheral cable) to the Modi.  From the Modi, I have RCA's going to the Asgard 2.  Then of course, my headphones are plugged into the Asgard 2 via 1/4 inch.

 

When I use that setup, without touching my Audio Devices in the control panel, I find the headphones have tons of treble, and no bass (or very little).  I then decided to head into the Audio Device area, and play around with the bass boost.  After putting it to -6dB at 85 Hz, the bass felt full without pushing everything else away (albeit the sound and treble was lower by a bit).

 

So I thought, "why does the treble and bass sound so different through the M+A2 (Modi and Asgard 2) setup?".  I decided to switch my pc's board as the default device, and plugged my the Sennheiser 598's into the headphones jack on the front of the PC.  Although the sound wasn't as in depth, the bass was full, and the treble was controlled.  Then I took the very same headphones, put my Asgard Audio Device Control Panel to Default (everything normal no boosts), and there was once again; tons of treble and hardly any bass.

 

Still with me?

 

I'm confused as to why there's no bass at all, and the treble is loud enough to make my ears ring if I turn the dial almost too far up.  However, when I switch the Bass Boost on, it lowers the sound a little, but the bass is now extremely healthy, and the treble is more relaxed.  I feel I almost spent a large amount of money for such little gain; I feel like I'm going wrong somewhere.  Should I put more Hz for the bass?  I can't tell.

 

Then out of the blue this evening while I was playing League of Legends and running my music at about 30% volume in WAV (Lossless) and chatting with a buddy on skype.  Out of nowhere all the sounds pause periodically and return back in a few seconds.  I'm curious if somehow the Asgard 2 is throttling, or having trouble.

post #27 of 43
Is the volume control in your PC all the way to the max, and are you controlling the headphone volume with the Asgard knob?

Do you have any surround sound or 5.1/7.1 stuff enabled in the Windows software? You do not want those turned on - you want the DAC to be treated as a PCM or stereo device.
post #28 of 43
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by billybob_jcv View Post

Is the volume control in your PC all the way to the max, and are you controlling the headphone volume with the Asgard knob?

Do you have any surround sound or 5.1/7.1 stuff enabled in the Windows software? You do not want those turned on - you want the DAC to be treated as a PCM or stereo device.

 

PC Volume is 100%, I turn the dial unless it's minor changes like the music volume from my player.

 

I do not have the surround sound settings (5.1/7.1) enabled.  It's treated as a "Audio Device" in the control panel.

 

post #29 of 43
Are you using high or low gain on the Asgard 2? For 600 Ohm headphones, you should be using high gain.

I'm running out of ideas.

In the audio devices screenshot you posted, highlight the Schiit device, and then click on "Configure" and check the settings. Do the same for each of the tabs under "Properties".
post #30 of 43

Yes, make sure you have the Asgard set to high gain. That should make a difference.

In your settings, make sure that configuration is set to stereo and full-range for front left and right. Disable all effects and enhancements. 

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